Judging Team Events Overview

State Judging Team Events Overview

Judging Teams help youth to develop life skills in the areas of decision making, critical thinking, oral reasoning, self-confidence and problem solving. Youth evaluate a class of four items and then answer questions or orally defend their placings. Iowa 4-H has four judging programs that are available to youth enrolled in 4-H.    

Dairy Judging

In dairy judging youth evaluate classes of dairy cows and heifers and then defend their placings through oral reasoning. Youth learn the dairy cow unified scorecard and major breakdowns, anatomy of the dairy cow, along with dairy judging terminology. 

2019 Contest Date: Wednesday, August 7, Iowa State Fair
Event Registration and Information

Horse Judging

Horse judging is an activity in which youth learn and apply knowledge of the ideal features of a variety of breeds and riding styles.  They must evaluate each horse in relation to the ideal for the breed and in relation to other horses or riders in the class. In addition to placing the class, contestants must also defend their placings through oral reasons. The state horse judging event takes place as a part of Equine Extravaganza.

Livestock Judging Coach’s Clinic

April 20, 2019, 10:00-3:00pm

Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, ISU

Registration fee: $30, includes lunch and materials

This event is to train adults (extension educators, volunteer leaders, agriculture teachers) on best practices for coaching a youth livestock judging team.  Participants will receive hands-on instruction from the ISU Livestock Judging Coach, Dr. Chris Cassady and the ISU judging team members.  This training is for everyone from the first time coach to the experienced one.  Learn how to put together a team, organize practice sessions, teach judging, select a teachable class, teach reasons and much more. 

Participants will take home a flash drive with teaching materials and other resources.

Meat Judging

Meat Judging trains youth to distinguish differences in the values of various meat cuts. Youth learn how to evaluate and identify retail cuts as well as wholesale cuts and carcasses. The 4-H meat judging program allows youth to learn about the different cuts of meat along with the trimness and quality factors that affect the safety and taste of the meat products we consume.

2019 Contest Date: Saturday, Aug. 24, ISU Meat Lab Kildee Hall, Ames
Registration and Information

State Livestock Judging

Livestock judging consists of analyzing beef cattle, sheep, swine and meat goats and measuring them against a standard. It is the study of the relationship between an animal’s form and function. Livestock judging has two primary components 1) placing a group of animals and 2) orally justifying your decision. 

2019 Contest Date: Saturday, Aug. 24, Hansen Ag Student Learning Center, Ames
Registration and Information

Sample Contest Questions

Video Tutorials 

Welcome to the site!  We've compiled a great selection of videos to get you started or even if you're an experienced judge.  Check out the video below for what we have to showcase, then sign in below to check it all out.  By providing your email address, get updates when new videos are added.